Title: Adam’s Stepsons
By: M. Thomas Apple
Genre: Science fiction
Publication Date: April 15, 2017
Book Excerpt: Dr. Johann Heimann designed the perfect soldiers: superhuman in strength and intelligence, immune to sickness and disease, programmed to lead the United Americas to a quick victory in the Mars Colony War. But Heimann didn’t anticipate the military’s unrealistic
Dr. Johann Heimann designed the perfect soldiers: superhuman in strength and intelligence, immune to sickness and disease, programmed to lead the United Americas to a quick victory in the Mars Colony War. But Heimann didn’t anticipate the military’s unrealistic demands or his own emotional responses to his creations. And now Number Six is calling him “Father”! What exactly is going on during the clones’ personality imprinting cycle?
Dr. Johann Heimann designed the perfect soldiers: superhuman in strength and intelligence, immune to sickness and disease, programmed to lead the United Americas to a quick victory in the Mars Colony War. But Heimann didn’t anticipate the military’s unrealistic demands, or his own emotional responses to his creations. And now Number Six is calling him “Father”! What exactly is going on during the clones’ personality imprinting cycle?
As Heimann starts his investigation, Number Six grows in confidence and self-awareness…and both discover the project hides a secret even Heimann, himself, doesn’t suspect…
From Chapter 1:
“I wonder if Seth is doing all right,” he muttered aloud.
Beider looked up from her pad.
“Six. I meant Number Six,” Heimann responded, a little sheepishly.
She shook her head.
“Really, Doctor, you shouldn’t use the name, Seth.”
He opened his mouth to reply, but she cut him off.
“Or any other name.”
He stopped and grimaced.
“Sorry, Tanja. It’s just…I can’t help it.”
“Doctor, I know how much this project affects you,” she began.
“This has nothing to do with…”
He let go of the hidden pipe in his pocket and wagged a finger at her.
“That was pure happenstance. Patel was the most recent casualty. The most likely to succeed. The best choice. After all, we already had his flight operator brain scan.”
“True,” Beider said. “Initially I did have reservations about the viability of the subliminal programming.”
“Well,” Heimann said, “the insertion of the cranial neuromesh solved that. Combined with recordings of Patel’s flight simulator exercises and various sorties on Mars. An ideal test subject.”
He almost winced at hearing himself say “subject.” If only Lieutenant Patel’s parents hadn’t died in a minor skirmish when he was just a child. If only the Revolution hadn’t…he pushed the dangerous thought away.
“Yes, I suppose so,” Beider agreed. “Still, I must admit to some, shall we say, concern about your personal connection to this project.”
Heimann did not respond.
His sister’s son. Still a young man, his whole life ahead of him. Gone, so suddenly.
Heimann hadn’t approved of his sister’s marriage to his Indian research colleague. Yes, he was a good, honest man. But he held odd views on epigenetic inheritance, genetic “immortality,” and scientific reincarnation. Controversial, considered heretical by the United Americas Council but tolerated in allies. Barely.
Still, Heimann knew some things transcended political boundaries. He cherished his time with them on the old International Space Station. Despite their disagreements, he owed it to them both to take care of the boy. He just hadn’t expected to be a father. Adoptive or otherwise. Hadn’t expected a son.
He also knew he shouldn’t have called any of the clones Seth. Armed Forces HQ had instructed him to give them numbers like any other sample. He disagreed. Even a genetically enhanced clone needed a name, but he couldn’t use the name of the cell donor. The pain was still too fresh.
He looked over to Number Ten. The clone had increased the treadmill speed and was running without holding the bars. It wouldn’t take the clone long to reach superhuman speed. Just like the others. All the other Pate…no, they weren’t him. They couldn’t be.
Author Bio: A native of Upstate New York, M. Thomas Apple gave up his high school dreams of becoming the next Carl Sagan and instead studied languages and literature at Bard College and creative writing at the University of Notre Dame du Lac. Even after somehow getting hired to teach intercultural communication at a university in Kyoto, Japan, he is still trying to apply ideas from quantum mechanics to language teaching and research. He lives in a quasi-traditional Japanese house co-designed with his wife and partially decorated by his two daughters, nestled in the foothills of the mountains and surrounded by lots of cedar and cicada.
Author Contact Links: Author site: http://mthomasapple.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mthomasapple/
Purchase the book: Amazon US (https://www.amazon.com/Adams-Stepsons-M-Thomas-Apple-ebook/dp/B06XJRT8CS)
Stop by https://mthomasapple.com/adams-stepsons/ for more information and updates.